What are Tylenol Lawsuits Alleging?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, acetaminophen has been marketed for decades to pregnant women as the safest option for pain and fever relief during pregnancy.
It has often been marketed as the only safe over-the-counter pain drug during pregnancy, which has contributed to the public perception that Tylenol is completely safe for use during pregnancy.
This all changed in September 2021, when the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a Consensus Statement from a group of 91 leading medical experts who warned that the use of Tylenol or acetaminophen during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders and other severe health risks.
Specifically, the statement cited a growing body of epidemiological research and acetaminophen medical records which indicated that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen can alter fetal development and increase the risk of neurological disorder-related autism.
This body of research included 29 observational studies including over 220,000 mother-child pairs from across the globe.
These studies identified a consistent link between the use of Tylenol or acetaminophen by pregnant women and a 20% increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
The statement also identified a correlation between the autism risk level and the duration and amount of acetaminophen usage during pregnancy.
Health professionals warn that more acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy typically equates to higher autism rates.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave.
Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
Symptoms of Autism
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), people with ASD often have:
- Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people
- Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors
- Symptoms that affect their ability to function in school, work, and other areas of life
- Other mental health effects
Tylenol Use During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Risk for Autism, ADHD: Study
A 2019 study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  found that exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy may significantly increase a child's risk for autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The researchers looked at data from the Boston Birth Cohort, a 20-year study of early life factors influencing pregnancy and child development.
They found that children whose cord blood samples contained the highest levels of prenatal acetaminophen exposure were approximately 3 times more likely to be subsequently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD or other neurological disorders in childhood, compared to children with the lowest levels of acetaminophen in their cord blood.
How Does Tylenol Work?
Tylenol is a pain reliever and fever reducer. The active ingredient in Tylenol, acetaminophen relieves pain by elevating the body's overall pain threshold for pain relief and lowering your fever by helping your body eliminate excess heat.
Tylenol Autism Class Action Lawsuit
The recent studies and scientific evidence has sparked a wave of Tylenol lawsuits filed by pregnant women against manufacturers and retailers of acetaminophen products.
Plaintiffs in these Tylenol Autism Lawsuits allege that use of Tylenol or generic acetaminophen products during pregnancy caused their children to develop autism spectrum disorder and other health risks.
They accuse the defendants of negligently failing to warn about the risk of taking acetaminophen during pregnancy.
The number of Tylenol autism product liability lawsuits field across the U.S. has increased significantly in recent months to the point where there were enough pending Tylenol autism cases to prompt a group of plaintiffs to file a motion to consolidate all of the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The motion filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) identified at least 20 Tylenol autism lawsuits pending in various federal districts. All of the cases involve nearly identical factual allegations and legal claims that acetaminophen during pregnancy caused children an increased ASD risk.
See all related dangerous drug lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
What You Need to Know if You Take Generic Acetaminophen During Pregnancy
Over half of all pregnant women use acetaminophen for mild to moderate pain, as a fever reducer, and as part of other over-the-counter medications.
Tylenol has long been thought to be “safe” for use during pregnancy, partly because other OTC medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin have long been known to increase the risk of fetal abnormalities, some of which are severe.
While high fever in pregnant women can result in birth defects, most women take acetaminophen for other reasons such as aches, mild pain, or headache.
For many women, acetaminophen use is so common, that it is not thought of as a true medication that can have potential health risks. The studies cited above have shown that acetaminophen may have more risk than previously thought.
The new studies show that acetaminophen use for less than 2 weeks total during pregnancy carried the least risk. Over two weeks showed a greater risk for adverse events, health professionals warn.
Do I Qualify for a Tylenol Autism Lawsuit?
You may qualify to file a lawsuit if:
- While pregnant, the mother used at least 10 doses of Tylenol or generic acetaminophen; and while pregnant, the mother consulted her healthcare professionals for Tylenol use in the form and in the manner in which she used it, and the drug was approved for use in the form and in the manner in which the mother used it.
- The child suffered fetal exposure and was subsequently diagnosed with autism, and/or the child is participating today or participated in the past in an individualized education program for autism, or the child is participating today or participated in the past in an early intervention program for autism.
You may not qualify to file a lawsuit if the mother suffered one or more of the following complications during pregnancy:
- Gestational diabetes
- Gestational hypertension or infection and related fever that required mother’s hospitalization
- The child was born before the 26th week of pregnancy
- The child is diagnosed with one or more of Down syndrome, Fragile X
syndrome, Tourette syndrome, and/or tuberous sclerosis
- The mother used one or more SSRI drugs while pregnant
- The mother was over 40 years of age when child was born
- The father was over 45 years of age when child was born
- The mother used alcohol while pregnant
- The mother used one or more illegal drugs while pregnant
- The mother used tobacco while pregnant
- One of the child’s parents is diagnosed with autism
- One or more of child’s siblings is diagnosed with autism
- If the child was born after March 26, 2020
- If the child is over 18 years of age
- The mother’s pregnancy or child’s birth occurred in Michigan
What Settlement Amounts Can Plaintiffs Expect?
Settlement amounts will be driven by the trial value of a Tylenol lawsuit.
The average trial value of a successful verdict in a lawsuit alleging autism diagnoses relating to Tylenol use would likely be between $5 million and $10 million.
It is important to keep in mind that settlement compensation payouts are only a fraction of the trial value of a case in Tylenol autism cases.
And lawyers still cannot project the settlement amount or the likelihood that the acetaminophen exposure records in these cases are strong enough to get to a jury - although the pregnancy experienced elevated risks of acetaminophen use is looking pretty good right now.
But if the documentary and scientific evidence of acetaminophen use and fetal exposure are strong enough and these cases do go to a jury, get verdicts, and push drug manufacturers to the settlement table, average per person settlement amounts over the potential risks of acetaminophen use in cord blood samples could be in the $300,000 to $600,000 range.
Get a Free Tylenol Autism Spectrum Disorder Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Acetaminophen Exposure Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of lawyers that focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Tylenol Autism Lawsuits. Our law firms are reviewing Tylenol Autism Lawsuits in all 50 states.
Again, if your child or other loved one was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other neurological disorders after prenatal exposure to Tylenol usage or generic acetaminophen, you should contact our Tylenol Autism Lawyers today.
You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses by filing a Tylenol Lawsuit and our law firm can help you receive fair compensation.